* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Conmen DID use leaked info of sporty civil servants... to attack HMRC

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Why the heck .....

... does a football field or gym (or whatever) need someone's National Insurance number to register their membership or usage rights? Name, address and dob; yes (need dob. for certain age related conditions). Is it a case of the Civil Service department just throwing everything at them because they couldn't be bothered to make a decision about what was appropriate?

I can understand not releasing details because a criminal investigation is underway, but this sounds like a cover-up that has fallen apart.

Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

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Missed Opportunity

He could have used "open sesame", ..... but he didn't.

GRAIL orbiters make DEATH DIVE into lunar mountain

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Burn to depletion experiment

So, how did the amount of fuel left compare to NASA's estimates?

Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

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Re: Great.

As I understand it, the Lightening (calendar) plugin for Thunderbird is an independent effort by a some guy somewhere who tries his best to keep up with Thunderbird changes, but doesn't always manage to do this on time.

You're right - why are simple and common standard calendar functions so difficult to provide?

UN telecoms talks FOUNDER as US, UK, Canada and Aussies quit

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The spam thing

"Member States should endeavour to take necessary measures to prevent the propagation of unsolicited bulk electronic communications and minimize its impact on international telecommunications services."

It sounds fine, with possible pessimistic and paranoid outcomes. (Pessimism and paranoia are always sensible when considering what governments will get up to.) I don't understand the following example of US objection:

"... to the US even a Skype call is content, user-generated content but still content, ..."

How can anyone compare a Skype call with 'unsolicited bulk electronic communication'?

Leaving aside that objection using an inappropriate comparison:

"How could an operator know an email was unsolicited, critics asked, without looking at it? "

An operator can't know that an email is unsolicited or not, even if they do look at it. I might enjoy getting lots of emails from bankofnigeria@hotmail.com; but I don't, and I might want emails from juicyrussianbrides@phish.ru; but I don't because I'm not totally ignorant. I can take care of myself when it comes to spam, but the majority of people can't so how about the ISPs provide information to their customers to let them opt-in to spam rejection mechanisms (such as Spam Cop and Spam Assassin)? There are measures that could be taken, including coordinated effort against the serious scammers and malware artists out there. So why don't the 'rejectionists' propose sensible alternatives instead of walking out.

On a final note, I'm wondering how all this is being reported in the rest of the world. What is the tone of newspaper and technical press reports in Russia, India, China, Papaua New Guinea, etc? Are the US and its vassal states regarded as fighters against oppression, or are they viewed as spoiled brats who want to keep the toys (or various points between)?

Happy birthday, transistor

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I remember spreading the legs of a BC107 .....

... and getting it to do amazing things for me. Ah, the early '70s, wonderful times.

Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

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Interesting little detail

At about 1:12 to 1:23, you can see small disturbances near the bottom of the slinky being propagated towards the bottom. These seem to be mechanical vibrations being propagated along the length of the slinky material (i.e. high speed travel through a metal) as the coil above bash into each other. As might be expected, these disturbances travel faster than the compression wave of the slinky structure itself.

Delegates launch dawn spitball raid in battle for INTERNET DOMINATION

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"... throwing spitballs ..."

The only honourable way to resolve this outrage is by peashooters at dawn.

GE boffins build micro-lungs to cool PC innards

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Thank you for that information Peter. I'm wondering about a couple of points as a result:

With an oscillation frequency of about 150Hz, the wavelength in air will be about 2 metres so any vibration cancellation effects would not be due to air-wave interference at a distance from the source. (I'm not an acoustics expert by any means so I hope anyone with knowledge of this subject will join in....). Do the oscillating plates vibrate in the same direction (one goes into the 'fan' cavity as the other goes out) or do they vibrate in opposite directions (both go in/out at the same time) thus expanding the cavity and then compressing it? Given that a flat plate is vibrating at 150Hz and given the complexities of vibration and sound propagation inside a PC or laptop, I'm surprised that a nearby plate (on the other 'side') is able to cancel sound waves launched by the first plate.

Is the frequency of operation related to the mechanical resonance characteristics of the fan plate assembly, or is it related to requirements due to the characteristics of air flow through the fan?

It seems to be a fascinating and useful development and I look forward to large and silent PCs and laptops one day.

Worldwide Gmail crash was due to Google Sync bug

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"There is WRONG in the cloud. "

That should be 'There is wrongness in the cloud', or 'There is a wrong in the cloud', or 'There are wrongs in the cloud', or perhaps 'Wrongly does/goes the cloud', or "There is something wrong......

You're doing this deliberately aren't you?

Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

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I think that my idea is better

An idea I had a long time ago, which is blindingly obvious, is for small communities to have an old bicycle rigged up on a fixed frame with the rear wheel replaced by a dynamo charging some batteries, that would be used to power the village radio, LED light, charge up mobile phones etc. The fit young people could jump on and make their 'contribution' at any convenient time, and a simple LCD display energy meter would display how much they had contributed - this gets some competition and social kudos going.

All the parts required are mostly generally available, understandable and fixable by many people, though the control and monitoring package may need to be donated.

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Deep breath ....

"... if it can generate more power than it uses it shouldn't be an issue."

If it actually could do that, it would be an enormous issue. Anyway, the perpetual motion machine has been invented (or 'designed') many times throughout history. For some reason, a working model has never been constructed.

Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

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Basic security measures .....

"... username/passwords that Firefox remembers for different online services ...."

I've got Firefox rigged to forget everything when I exit. I can remember my usernames and passwords, and I'd write them on a piece of paper if I couldn't. A regular zapping with CCleaner is also a good idea.

Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

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Just push the connector in firmly, then run some hot-melt glue around the edges. It's the Apple way. :)

Another Apple maps desert death trap down under

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Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

I'm working on a film script that has inbred cannibals using GPS spoofing to misguide victims to their isolated lair. So, will you be suing me or can we come to an accommodation of some kind?

Bio-integrated circuitry melds man and machine

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Re: Now this *is* clever

"Stick on Alcohol warning alarm for people who don't realise they are over the limit?"

Do you think they'd pay any attention to it?

Mother of All Whistlers: Virgin Media superhub. Listen to recordings

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I understand what's gone wrong

" ..problems which have dogged the SuperHub since it was first deployed by Virgin Media in early 2011 are a hot topic of debate in management meetings at the company. "

They need to make it the subject of engineering meetings - and then act on the recommendations.

Parliament: Snoop Charter plan 'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious'

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'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious' - 'Goes much further than it need or should'

Is this about Theresa May, or her draft bill? It's important to draw a distinction between the two.

'UK DNA database by stealth' proposed in £100m NHS project

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Nice little earner, for some.

"...the market is ripe to be exploited by private companies hoping to cash in by using these rich datasets .."

Datasets provided by me, and other NHS patients , via an organisation funded by me and most other adult citizens of the UK. That's my data. You want to make money from it - you pay me an agreed percentage.

However, I suspect that senior figures in the medical establishment, the Civil service and politicians have already got themselves lined up for 'advisory' positions on several boards, so it'll all go through without objection.

This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

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@David Webb 11:27

"... does the apple even have a leaf? " Yes, often enough to make it iconic.

If you pick an apple from a tree, instead of a supermarket shelf, you'll often see a small, 'pointed oval' shaped leaf attached to the stalk, close to the apple. This is so common and well known that it has been drawn and painted many times throughout history. Guess where Apple got the idea of an apple-type shape with an apple-leaf type thing close to it?

Brit physics student debuts zombie flick shot inside LHC

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Re: interesting

Natural talent does come into it but acting is a skill, or craft, that needs to be learned and practiced, with feedback from mentors, peers and audiences. That's why the older and more experienced actors are usually the best ones.

A high achieving group of physics PhD students have probably not spent much time developing any acting skills they may have.

US drops ‘net regulation bombshell, threatens WCIT exit

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Re: Power play of "Balance"?

"What is so wrong with how it is working now to make the ITU believe they can make it better? And for whom believes that it can better, how will it be made better for them?"

Two very good questions, for a start. Does anyone know the answers?

It's often the case that powerful organisations, governments in particular, state that something must change for the greater good, but never (or cannot) give specific examples or even realistic hypothetical examples of why the current system is bad and what benefits a new system will bring.

Behold ATLAS, the fastest computer of 50 years ago

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Re: Compute time was billed at around £750-800 per hour

Use of a verb form (a participle) as an adjective requires the present or past participle of the verb. So, this would require 'computing time' or 'computed time'. (cf. 'baking apple' and 'baked apple', but _not_ 'bake apple')

If you want to use the noun as an adjective (cf. 'apple pie', 'car park') then you'd need to say 'computer time'.

Using the bare verb form, 'compute time', is the equivalent of saying "Don't talk now, it's not talk time, it's eat time." It looks and sounds clumsy and ugly. However, language changes fastly in this modern world and I look forward to more of these disruptive read experiences.

Take it or break it: the return of the drop test

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@Silverburn Re: I was ok with it ...

Oh good, someone else who understands the aesthetics of it all.

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I was ok with it ...

... until I noticed the bright red shoes forming an unfortunate contrast with the black jacket. Not enough thought goes into these kind of pictures.

I've got the 'fastest growing THINGY ever', boasts Google+ chief

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I was hijacked and added to a nutter's circles

I tried it at first, just to see what was going on. I didn't post anything, just read streams (or whatever they are called). About 50% of posts on a stream were adverts for some product.

Later, there was an 'awesome picture' stream which did indeed have lots of very impressive photos, probably lifted from somewhere else. One was so good, and so beautiful (to my eyes), that I commented on it, adding to the many comments already posted.

Two days later, on logging in, I noticed that I had been added to one of the circles of some guy who was Italian, a minor EU functionary and worked in some EU offices in Brussels (I read his profile). This was a man who had 50,000 people in his circles and a big cheesy smile photo of him at his office desk - obviously a sad nutter.

I managed to ban/block him, eventually; but I bet I'm still listed in his circles.

So, when this sad nutter goes on the rampage with a machine gun, after poisoning the local water supply, the anti-terrorist police will have my name as one of his 'associates'. Great!

'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands

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Re: lukewarmdog

Is he the one who was responsible for the binking crisis? Nuke him from orbit!

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@DAM Re: Morons wasting time.

You are fixated on the past whereas Jake is thinking of the future.

Republican staffer fired for copyright reform suggestions

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The free market and laissez faire capitalism

At least he's now free to look for a job with another major political party. Oh, ... wait a minute.

Australian Prime Minister: Mayan calendar 'true'

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Excoriation of Tony Abbott (video link)

I was appalled at the way her colleagues stole her line [voices off: he needs a mirror, he needs a mirror]. Then again, they are all politicians and so are self-serving.

Google defames Reg columnist Verity Stob

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After much thought, and some Googling,

I've come to the conclusion that Verity Stob is in fact, a concept.

The best e-readers for Christmas

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Re: Advice please.

I assume she'll be doing her reading at home... I'd honestly suggest that you get her a 17" laptop, rigged to start up with an e-book reader app, such as Mobipocket, etc., with font preset to a suitable size. Learning how to use a mouse should be easy and the cursor can be made big and obvious.

"I've got to cope with Adobe Digital Editions DRM." I'm not saying anything at this point, except that you can easily manage to wrangle stuff with Calibre and do some internet driving for her every couple of weeks or so. :)

Apple-HTC patent deal doesn't include designs, 'cloned' iDevices

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Wait a minute

'Weetabix' is a registered trademark of Weetabix Ltd. Be very careful.

Moon riven by colossal cracks

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Request for technical information

That looks like a very detailed 'picture' and I'm wondering how they did it. A gravity sensor in orbit would detect a local value of gravity corresponding to the integrated contributions of all lunar matter beneath it (and off to the side, etc).

The only way I can think of to resolve the detailed contribution of small mass regions is to do an enormous number of scanning orbits (all carefully monitored for position), with a massive number of data points and then do some very hairy mathematics on the resulting data set.

Is that what they did or is there a simpler and more elegant way of getting that much detail from a gravity sensor in orbit?

Schmidt: Microsoft will never be as cool as the Gang of Four

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Re: Schmidt and it?

Try reading that as, ' .. Schmidt said that it was ....'. It might help. You may have been interpreting the words as '..Schmidt it said ...' (The word 'that' is often omitted, leaving the reader/listener to rely on inference.)

Copying Wikipedia's lies is not just for hacks, right Lord Leveson?

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Re: Oh for the love of . . .

I wasn't the founders of the Guardian newspaper, it was the Independent. Try looking stuff up in Wikipedia to improve your fact checking abilities. It's bound to be in there somewhere.

First pic of Ashton Kutcher as the great Steve 'jOBS'

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Thumb Up

@AC 06:47 Re: Apple haters can start getting their rotten tomatoes ready now

I've upvoted you in admiration of your defiant and probably self-fulfilling pessimism. Oh, ... wait a minute...

Rumble in the Tumblr: Troll-worm infected thousands of blogs

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... one count of identity fraud ...

I commit that 'crime' on every website I login to.

News International big boss flings himself overboard

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Murdoch ....the media mogul

Why did I read that as 'ghoul'?

Google buys parcel storage service for Christmas

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'We have made rage a thing of the past'.

Statements like that make me very, very angry.

Saucy Star Wars strip show - sorry, burlesque - to tour Down Under

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A travesty

That Wookieerotica magazine doesn't have any wookies in it. False advertising? (I'm glad I saw it via El Reg instead of ordering a copy in good faith.)

Apple plants flag on wireless power-supply map

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Re: Why kill Apple here

I think you mean 'fandroid faith' and 'Fandroid trolltards' (if you are referring to Android fans), since 'fanboi' (and fangurl) are generally reserved for Apple fans. Note:there is no feminine equivalent of 'fandroid', for obvious reasons.

Archaeologists uncover 'Unicorn's lair'

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The way NK chooses its 'leader', ...

.. they've got an 'ancient right of kings' thing going on there. After that, unicorns are fine by me.

LG claims UK Ultra HD TV first

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Re: What's it like for skintones?

It's a combination of 'elicit' and 'excite'. He's invented an admiratious new word and deserves our gratimentary acclaim. I've upvoted him.

Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

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Nicola's Dad ...

... exists in the same 'plane of reality' that my Dad did. His garden shed was so full of 'useful stuff' that it was dangerous to go in there and he had to get a second shed to keep his gardening tools in. I wish I'd taken a picture when I had the chance.

Google's Drive + Gmail: A 10GB Dropbox killer

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Re: Google Drive & Dropbox

There is a form of GDrive native client but it's an extension of Chrome, as I recall. I use it so I should know more about it. However, the 'files' stored locally are just links to the GCloud, so you need connection to the internet to do any work on them. There are download and store capabilities but these are limited.

This is, of course, Google's intention. They want you to be dependent on them for storage and use.

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a possibility ...

If you e-mail them to yourself (which is not the file, but a link to it), then you could have multiple labels on the e-mail. It sounds messy but it would work maybe for archive/reference purposes, but maybe not for ongoing work ...?

The Terminator, coming to a reality near you

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Oh Dear

"... Oh, and the cells are able to reproduce themselves, ..."

Can anybody guess the consequences?

Twitter forced to cough raw feed after PeopleBrowsr wins temporary order

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"A little bird has ejected us from its 'warm spot', ..."; "..the raw twitter feed of more than 400 million tweets a day"

The words 'cloaca' and 'guano' would be useful here.

Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

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Re: Mistake Not...

But these, sadly, have never been seen in a film. I don't think anybody could make a film of the Culture novels.

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